Saturday 28 August 2010

Jewels and Finery Craft Now online

Just a quick update

Jewels and Finery Craft is now online with a payment gateway (At Last) Sorry this has now been discontinued as too time consuming for the monetary return.

Took a lot longer than expected. Now we will start to add lots of vintage beads, buttons and craft supplies.

We did start to add a few weeks ago, but found that some people were trying to buy things as Google was indexing them. However they were not contacting us to pay and so made the decision to wait for the main payment gateway first.

We will be adding Paypal at some point also. Google checkout is already working.

Just a few of the items we will have for sale soon

Replacement pins for brooches

Craft books that are used and maybe out of print

Vintage buckles

Vintage glass foiled beads

Vintage buttons

Friday 20 August 2010

Asiana Wedding Magazine

A couple of months ago we were approached by the Asiana Magazine to use some of our vintage jewellery in their photo shoot for their Autumn edition.

The Autumn edition is now out and even if you do not intend to get married - please take a look it is very inspiring

The beautiful wedding dresses that are on show in such vibrant colours with some sparkling jewellery appeals to my closeted fashion taste. The use of jewellery is so imaginative, wearing more than one necklace, use of single earrings and vintage pearl necklaces as hair ornaments.

I could not find a tiara many moons ago, when I got married. In the eighties the only tiaras and head pieces was in silver or gold. I as usual wanted something that was not available - a mother of pearl one. In the end (a week before the wedding) I sat down with an old mother of pearl bead necklace, MOP sequins, white ribbon and some garden wire and made one. Unfortunately the wedding photographs are not close enough to see it fully.


The models in the magazine are also stunning, both male and female. (One of their models in the last edition taught my daughter and son to drive. He was excellent as a driving instructor).


Photographs from Asiana magazine Autumn 2010.
1980s wedding photograph Flairs Photographs

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Updated vintage jewellery

We have been very busy over the last few days. We have added lots more antique and vintage jewellery to our website Jewels and Finery. We still have another 5 large boxes full of jewellery to add and we are still  purchasing several times a week many more pieces that are waiting to be evaluated and cleaned.

Vintage Star brooch signed Corocraft

Along with vintage jewellery I also like to pick up unusual beads and buttons along with findings to add to our knowledge and to use in making jewellery. 

 Just one of the genuine pieces of Vintage jewellery we have. It is a 1960s vintage brooch with blue diamante and plastic cabochon.

Have a look at some of the other pieces of vintage jewellery and information we have on this blog.

Friday 13 August 2010

Dating - The Jade Chip Rage 1970s

One of the easiest pieces of 1970s jewellery to date is the jade chip or gemstone chip ones from the seventies. However to identify whether it is actually jade or what type of vintage gemstone jewellery is much much harder!

It was all the rage in 1970s jewellery to have a ring, bracelet or necklace with bright green jade type chips in. Many were imported from China and Hong Kong but the UK jewellery company Exquisite also did a range.
This fashion craze started around the mid-1970s and lasted a couple of years before drifting through an amethyst or lavender coloured jade chip jewellery (which was not as fashionable) before finally petering out.

Gemstone chip vintage brooch in Vintage green brooches

Jade jewellery has continued being produced to today. The use of the gemstone is steeped in history, thought to have healing properties and slow aging. Brings happiness and good fortune to the owner. In particular is thought to protect the dead and connect with their spirits.

There are two forms of jade: nephrite and jadeite.
Nephrite is a tough mineral and difficult to break. Its name comes from the word kidney and so is believed to heal the kidneys.
Jadeite is a more granular form and when polished has a slight dimple form. It is as hard as quartz.

Above is a dyed quartz beaded belt. Not jade and not Carnelian or Coral - which has been dyed to imitate. 
Jade varies in colour from a bright translucent green, a turquoise green, light blue to a very pale almost white green. Black nephrite jade originates from China. Jadeite is available in green, lavender, pink, orange and brown mainly from Burma. Jade can also be dyed many other colours. Colour and clarity of jade effects the price and value. Clear, bright and even coloured jade demands high prices.  

Identifying jade is a headache as many different gemstones are used. Imitations were mostly used in costume jewellery and real jade with gold and silver settings. But again not always!

Bowenite - softer than jade and can be scratched
Grossulaar garnet - labelled "African or Transvaal jade"
Dyed marble

Gemstones are colder than glass to the touch but unless you are an expert in jade, then using a gem tester makes identification easier. Interestingly some of the cheaper gemstones used then have now become collectible in their own right.

Monday 9 August 2010

Jewellery Glossary Part E

Today the sun is shinning and I am trying very hard to resist the call of the garden. So much to do and so little time..

Husband Mark is still suffering from a very nasty chest infection. But hopefully these second lot of antibiotics will get him back on his feet.

Back to today's subject of the jewellery glossary on the letter E

Enamelling - A technique for decorating jewellery and other metal objects. In which a silicate of glass mixed with powdered metallic oxides, which produce the desired colour, is placed on metal in a prepared design and then fused until the enamel paste or powder adheres to the metal. Also can be cold enamelled where the enamel is in a paint form and applied to the metal with a brush by hand and allowed to dry.

The signed vintage jewellery from Exquisite was often hand enamelled using the cold enamel technique
Here is an Exquisite brooch of  berries
Our Christmas vintage jewellery will be on sale at the end of August.
En Esclavage - A necklace in which several strands start together and then separate, at an equal distance from the other

Emerald - A precious green variety of the mineral beryl. The range of colours can be from plastic looking milky grass green to the richest of transparent greens. Associated with fertility, prophecy and abundance. Originally mined in Egypt thousands of years ago. But now mined in Brazil, Columbia, Russia, Pakistan and South Africa.
High quality emeralds are used in fine jewellery and the opaque emeralds with occlusions are often used in costume jewellery. "Indian emeralds" are not real emeralds but dyed quartz.    

Eternity rings - Those in the form of a hoop, the circle being regarded as the symbol of eternity. The plain hoop of the wedding ring symbolizes eternal fidelity. Eternity rings are usually set with a continuous line of small stones.

 Vintage brooch from Exquisite Beech Leaf cold hand enamelled

Vintage insect brooch enamelled in green and blue

Vintage white enamel necklace from Jewelcraft

Friday 6 August 2010

Sarah Coventry's Brochure 1976 Part 4

So back to dating vintage jewellery by Sarah Coventry with the 1976 spring brochure and here is part 2. Here is the next 4 pages. The photographs should enlarge when clicked on.

Page 16

A - Golden Sunset Earrings for pierced ears
B - Victoria Blue Ring
C - Victoria Blue Pendant
D - Golden Sunset Pendant 21"
E - Victoria Blue Necklace 44"
F - Secret Love Locket Bracelet (with its new designed adjustable clasp)

Page 17

A - Cameo fashions necklace (24" and 30" chains)
B - Flutter Byes Necklace (20" & 33" - 53" overall)

Page 18

A - Tinsel Twist Pin
B - Tinsel Twist Earrings
C - Loop - La - Loop Earrings (gold tone & silver tone)
D - Gold Swirls ring
E - Golden Swirls Earrings (pierced)
F - Golden swirls bracelet

Page 19

A - Credo Cross 24"
B - Encounter Pendant 21"
C - Autumn Splendor pin
D - Autumn Splendor earrings

Big Pinwheel vintage brooch. Soon to be listed the matching vintage Big pinwheel clip earrings

 To be listed shortly also this gorgeous brooch from Sarah Coventry called Blue Lagoon (early to late 1960s)

This Blue Lagoon brooch was actually made by DeLizza and Elster but along with the other companies that D & E made for. The brooch is signed Sarah Coventry. Matching clip earrings can still be found.  


Thursday 5 August 2010

Photographing Jewellery

Today was an ideal day for photographing our jewellery out doors. Not too hot and not too cold. Also we have found that the best time is early morning or late afternoon as after 11 am the sun is high in the sky and casts shadows onto the background that we use. Making it a bit more difficult to get the right light.
I love sparkling jewellery, so here is a few pieces that we took photographs of today.

The local wild life just take our presence in their stride. The squirrels just go around us and carry on feeding at the bird table. So do most of the birds, all except the wood pigeons who really are a bit brainless. They dawdle along heading for the bird feeders, and then suddenly see us and take fright. If you look very closely you may be able to see the flock of sea gulls that were circling overhead on our last shoot, reflecting on the black marble background.
This snail decided to move out of the watering can


But he was nowhere near my hostas - I hope!!

Wednesday 4 August 2010

How to type the copy right symbol when describing vintage jewellery

How to type the copyright symbol when describing vintage jewellery.

My biggest achievement this week (and I know its a bit sad) is to find out how to type the copy right symbol
Have wanted to know this every time we describe a piece of vintage jewellery. But it is one of those things that your always going to find out but never quite get round to....

So here is how to:
  • press the Ctrl and Alt buttons down at the same time
  • press c
  • take you one finger of the CTRL button and type in the right side numbers 0169
  • make sure its the right hand side numbers as it does not work with the numbers along the top
  • take your finger of the Alt key and the © appears
 Magical and yes small thing please and all that LOL

Our most unusual piece of jewellery added this week is this pre owned brooch of a Colt revolver

Diamante and dark silver gun brooch

I think we have added about another 15 vintage brooches this week. Now just need the weather to improve to photograph more jewellery.............

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Exquisite Jewellery Signed or Unsigned Information & Dating

For those of you that collect vintage Exquisite jewellery from WAP Watson, may have discovered that many pieces are unsigned.
The company was in production (except the Second World War years) from 1914 until around 1979.
It may surprise you that before 1953 all jewellery was unsigned. Sometime between 1953 and the end of the fifties, they started to add a plaque with the name "Exquisite" in script.

 Script plaque says Exquisite but now worn

The large scarab brooch is signed Tutankhamun - But is by Exquisite and made for the 1921 tour of Tutankhamun's tomb.  

I was lucky to talk to an old employee of W A P Watson who was one of the people who made the jewellery's molds and invented many of the finishes. He worked for them until 1953 and in that time none of the jewellery had a signature. They were sewn onto a fabric pad and boxed. Both of these were named with the trade mark Exquisite.
Up until 1955, the jewelers would patent their designs. So you may see "Pat pend" (patent pending) or "Des Pat no" or "Des Reg" (design registered) on some pieces of vintage jewellery and a number. Copying other company designs was a widespread practice (and still is today). Many designers would submit their jewellery design to be patented. This process would often take several months. Thus the Pat Pend signature.

 Registered patent on these vintage clip earrings signed Kigu

However in 1955 with the changes to the US Copy Right law, because of Trifari winning a historic case against the company Coro. This established that jewellery designs were a work of art. They were then able to use the copy right symbol. The symbol is the small c in a circle (© ) UK soon followed and most jewellery was signed

 Vintage enamel and marcasite brooch signed BJL - but note there is no © therefore probably pre 1955

I have to mention that the first plaques with the script signature of Exquisite did not stand the test of time and can be worn and almost indistinguishable.

So if a piece of vintage jewellery has Pat Pend or a reference to patent then it is probably dating pre 1955. (there are a few exceptions to this) but in general use this rule.

Avon key ring showing the © sign
Back to Exquisite - how to identify non signed jewellery and there are over 40 years worth!

It will match signed pieces. The Scottish luck heather brooches is one range that this is easy to do this with. Also an unsigned pair of earrings will match a signed brooch. In my experience brooches are signed more often. Necklaces are usually unsigned but have the characteristic "bow" tag. Earrings are usually signed and also rings underneath. Bracelets are rare anyway and may be signed or unsigned.

 Love this Exquisite brooch - as can be found with various type of Exquisite signatures and different thickness of the MOP pieces. This one is pre copy right vintage jewellery

It would be ideal if after 1955(ish) we could say the jewellery was all signed but unfortunately this was not the case.

I can now attribute some souvenir jewellery with a plaque to Exquisite because of their early souvenir spoons. But they produced a large range of scatter pins for the 1951 exhibition in London. These I can guess but not confirm due to the large number that can still be found in Solihull and Birmingham. So my search goes on for news clippings, adverts and hopefully jewellery brochures. If you have any I would be very interested.

   Now are the above vintage clip earrings from Exquisite, Hollywood or Jewelcraft?     

About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.